The author of the “dossier” of unverified claims about President Trump that was used by the Obama administration as evidence before a secret Washington court to obtain permission to spy on the Trump 2016 campaign was based largely on … gossip.
That’s according to its author.
The Washington Examiner reported Christopher Steele, an ex-British spy who was hired to write the unverified claims, admitted using what amounted to gossip on a CNN website as a source.
Steele revealed, in a deposition only now being reported, that he used material from CNN’s iReport website for his allegations, which later were adopted by the Obama administration.
The document is said to have played a major role in triggering the special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller of alleged collusion with Russia.
The Examiner noted, “According to deposition transcripts released this week, Steele said last year he used a 2009 report he found on CNN’s iReport website and said he wasn’t aware that submissions to that site are posted by members of the public and are not checked for accuracy.”
That means the statements he used as evidence easily could fall into the same category as online claims that Elvis still is alive, that the government carried out the 9/11 attacks and the world is ending in 12 years.
CNN explained iReport.com is a user-generated site, meaning “the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked, or screened before they post.”
But Steele jumped on the claims and regurgitated them as “facts.”
“In the dossier, Steele, a Cambridge-educated former MI6 officer, wrote about extensive allegations against Donald Trump, associates of his campaign, various Russians and other foreign nationals, and a variety of companies — including one called Webzilla. Those allegations would become part of an FBI investigation and would be used to apply for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” the report said.
Steele said during his deposition he didn’t know how iReport worked.
He admitted he didn’t know the statements on the site were not generated by CNN reporters.
“Do you understand that CNN iReports are or were nothing more than any random individuals’ assertions on the internet?” he was asked.
He said that for his research he used “open source” material.
Steele’ was overseen by Fusion GPS, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to compile claims about then-candidate Trump.
The Department of Justice under Obama then submitted the material to a court as if it were fact.
Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh said: “It confirms everything we thought about this bogus thing from the beginning. … This stupid investigation is still ongoing. … If I were Trump, I would have lost my mind by now.”
The London Daily Mail said Steele’s admission was “embarrassing.”
His statement came in a court case brought by Russian entrepreneur Aleksei Gubarev. The case took place last year but papers have just been unsealed from it.
GPS Fusion chief Glenn Simpson at one point invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify to the House Judiciary Committee on the subject.
WND also reported leftist billionaire George Soros indirectly funded the opposition research firm behind the infamous Steele dossier.
The funding of Fusion GPS for the Russia project was provided partly through a grant by Soros to the nonprofit Democracy Integrity Project, Soros aide Michael Vachon told Washington Post columnist David Ignatius.
The nonprofit organization paid Fusion GPS as a contractor to continue a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.